Dumbo (2019, dir. Tim Burton)

A failing circus buys a pregnant elephant; her baby has huge ears, allowing it to fly. Ambitious but mostly soulless attempt to make a non-musical live-action/CG remake of the 1941 original. Some heart, but this is mostly anodyne and clean, lacking the dark inventive touch of early Burton.

Dark Phoenix [AKA X-Men: Dark Phoenix] (2019, dir. Simon Kinberg)

1992: the orphaned young Jean Grey is exposed to an interstellar flare; her energies grow exponentially. Okay-but-formulaic last X-film, suffering in part because of the plot already being used by the film series before. Better than its predecessor Apocalypse, but this is for series completists only, despite solid work from those still under contract.

Brightburn (2019, dir. David Yarovesky)

An adopted boy finds out that he is an alien when his superpowers are triggered by puberty. Its neat inversion of the Superman origin story notwithstanding, Brightburn doesn’t quite know what to do with its premise, or with the horror route it takes. Nevertheless, an interesting minor film, with an eye for small-town detail.

Fancy another point of view? Here you go. Oh, and here.

31 (2016, dir. Rob Zombie)

A travelling vanload of carnival workers find themselves kidnapped and forced to play a sadistic Halloween game. Zombie’s love of sideshow freaks and 70s road movies pays dividends here, in a Saw meets Funhouse kinda way. Doesn’t quite gel, but some striking moments and imagery, plus in Richard Brake, the movies find their next Joker.

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003, dir. Jonathan Mostow)

John Connor, now a troubled young adult, is again pursued (and protected) by machines from the future. A slightly tongue-in-cheek threequel – apart from the pleasantly downbeat ending – which is heavy on chase-based action, though light on violence and plot. It’s entertaining enough, if a step down from its predecessors.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013, dir. Don Scardino)

An arrogant and jaded Las Vegas stage magician has to find himself again after being sacked. Inconsistent but intermittently fantastic comedy; its perfunctory redemption arc story is bolstered with some great gags and a dark undercurrent throughout. Alan Arkin, as ever, steals the movie.

The Irishman [AKA I Heard You Paint Houses] (2019, dir. Martin Scorsese)

A now-aged mob hitman reflects. A stunning revisiting of themes preoccupying Scorsese throughout his career; gang life, organised crime, Catholic guilt. Sombre and melancholy, and Ellroy-like in its alt-history approach to the American 20th century. A technical, dramatic and stylistic marvel, with fine performances all around, none less than from Pesci, who’s revelatory here. Hugely recommended.